Family Ties: The Third Season

Family Ties: The Third Season / 2008 CBS / 573 Minutes / http://www.paramount.com/homeentertainment /

As individuals remember, Family Ties was about the Keaton family, their lives, and the numerous events that happened to them. This box set collects the third season (the 1984-1985) seasons, not cutting out anything in the way of the 24 episodes that aired (and Paramount actually adds some bonus features, to boot). This season features the episode hopping story arc that focuses on Elyse’s pregnancy, preparations and humorous situations (food cravings, odd behavior, and Lamaze classes).

Other important happenings during this season of Family Ties included Alex’s trials and tribulations in eir first year at college, including eir stuggle with taking a humanities class and trying to join a fraternity.  A full screen format to these episodes, as well as very impressive mastering from the source tapes, makes these twenty-five (almost) year old episodes as bright and as vibrant as they were when they first aired. The aforementioned bonus content includes a gag reel that will have viewers in stitches throughout its entirety, and the promos for each episode give individuals a better sense of how television executives tried to sell every episode of Family Ties. What seems to be the major “culture shock” outside the parents and kids in the Keaton family has to be the quality of writing vis-à-vis the current period of television.

There are five major characters in Family Ties (6 if you count Andrew post-birth), but none of the characters are really given a back seat during any of the season’s twenty-four episodes. Each episode at least tells viewers where each member of the Keaton family is and what they are doing for the episode. Newer shows are quite content with dropping family members off the face of the earth until they are needed, so it is really nice to see an earlier, stronger style of sitcom/drama writing. There are four more seasons of Family Ties for Paramount/CBS to release in the months and years to come, so pick Season Three up, watch it, and chances are good that Season Four will be out soon after. In my opinion, however, Season Three represents a plateau that Family Ties was able to achieve after settling the characters in, one that lasted throughout this season and most of Season Four. If you like Family Ties, make sure to pick this DVD set up.

Rating: 7.5/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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